Brittany Purdy. Photo: Max Trombly

Brittany Purdy: If Norah Jones & Jon Cleary Had a Pop-Music Baby (Interview)

Brittany Purdy is a singer-songwriter who has called New Orleans home since 2013. Growing up in New York, she started playing piano around the age of 15 and eventually became bitten by the New Orleans bug. Just days after releasing her debut EP, Welcome to Sazaraz (which features Eric “Benny” Bloom, Terence Higgins, Keiko Komaki and Charlie Wooton), Purdy is gearing up for her upcoming residency at the Maple Leaf.

“I really had never performed until about a year ago,” she tells “I’ve been writing my whole life and not really performing. I moved to New Orleans almost five years ago and immersed myself in the music scene here as a watcher and decided last year that life is just short, and I want to share my music and not just keep it to myself.”

Purdy says she’s been described as “having a voice like Norah Jones had a baby with Jon Cleary and that baby decided to play pop music.” Ultimately, though, it’s the funk that drives her. “I was pretty involved in the funk scene in New York. When I moved here, it was like my brain exploded. There’s more to New Orleans funk then just a funky groove. It’s lyrical, too. This is where the real funk is at. It’s a feeling in your body that players here just have from a really young age. Music changes all the time, but it’s all coming from a core feeling of just being here.”

On January 24 and 31, Purdy will perform material from Welcome to Sazaraz, which was fittingly recorded at Oak Street Recording Studio where Wooton served as producer. There, folks can expect to hear her taking jazz standards and “funkifying” them and taking funk songs and “popifying” them. The shows represent her first time performing in New Orleans with her own band. There is a $10 cover charge for each performance. The Maple Leaf Bar is located at 8316 Oak St.